During the six years necessary for the composition of the Toxic trilogy, Charles Burns developed a strange universe around his three works. Unpublished pages, fictitious comic book covers, photographs, imaginary manga pages, or even the invention of an unusual alphabet accentuate the relief of this story which does not leave its readers unscathed.
Gathered in volume, these works are as many winks and cross references throughout the course of Doug (main character of the trilogy) and which are given here to see in their entirety. Vortex thus multiplies the round trips with Toxic, La Ruche and Calavera, intertwining the fine borders between the final work and its elaboration. Much more than a simple reference to the genesis of a story, Vortex is seen as a phantasmagorical extension that extends the cartography of the unreal world in which the characters of the trilogy evolve. A true graphic exploration, the illustrations presented mix English and invented language, reinforcing the feeling of an excursion to an unknown country.
With skill and finesse, Charles Burns invites us into his universe to better lead us to dream that the story continues after turning the last page.